SortNew (GenericNamedArraylist function)

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Sort items to an Arraylist (FloatNamedArraylist, NamedArraylist, and UnicodeNamedArraylist classes)

SortNew sorts the method object FloatNamedArraylist, NamedArraylist, or UnicodeNamedArraylist and returns the sorted result in a new Arraylist. The sort is based on one or more sort criteria, each of which consists of a sorting direction (ascending or descending) paired with a sort key (a function that gets applied to each FloatNamedArraylist, NamedArraylist, or UnicodeNamedArraylist item). The sort criteria pairs are passed to SortNew as a SortOrder argument.

In the SortNew parameter, you identify the sort key function that gets applied to each FloatNamedArraylist, NamedArraylist, or UnicodeNamedArraylist item. This function must operate on that item type and return an intrinsic datatype (Float, String, or Unicode) value. The values returned by the function are sorted into ascending or descending order to determine the position of their associated item in the result Arraylist.


%al = anyNal:SortNew[( [sortOrder])]

Syntax terms

%al An Arraylist object to contain the sorted anyNal items.
anyNal The input FloatNamedArraylist, NamedArraylist, or UnicodeNamedArraylist object.
sortOrder One or more SortOrder objects, which consist of an ordering direction for the sort and a key to sort by, specified in the form: order(key). The order is either Ascending or Descending, and the key is a function that is applied to each item in the anyNal arrayList. For example:

%alist = %namray:sortnew(descending(length))

The function is a method value (a method or class member name literal, or a method variable) for a method that operates on objects of the type specified on the anyNal declaration and that returns a numeric or string value. This is described further in "Specifying a SortOrder's sort key method".

Usage notes

  • If the function applied by SortNew returns String or Unicode values, SortNew uses the collating sequence of EBCDIC or Unicode, respectively, to determine the ascending or descending alphabetic order of the associated al items. If the function returns a numeric type, numeric comparisons are used.
  • If two or more anyNal items have equal values after all sort criteria are applied, SortNew returns them in the same order in which they appear in the input anyNal.
  • The function in the parameter for SortNew is a method value, not a User Language expression. That is, you cannot provide a function that, itself, also has an argument (say, Char(13)) as the SortNew parameter.
  • As of Sirius Mods Version 7.6, the default sortCriteria argument is the SortOrder Ascending(This), where This is the identity function described further in "Using the This function as the Maximum parameter". Therefore, anyNal:sortNew(ascending(this)) can be specified simply as anyNal:sortNew. See the SortNew example.
  • SortNew is available in Sirius Mods Version 7.3 and later.


  1. The following request displays a NamedArraylist in its normal sorted-by-label order, then in order of a sort based on a Variable member of the user class.

    begin class python public variable firstname is string len 16 variable surname is string len 16 variable birthdate is float constructor newpy (%sname is string len 16, - %name is string len 16, %bd is float) function myPrint is longstring end public constructor newpy (%sname is string len 16, - %name is string len 16, %bd is float) %this:firstname = %name %this:surname = %sname %this:birthdate = %bd end constructor function myPrint is longstring return %this:firstname with ' ' with - %this:surname with ' ' with - '(born: ' with %this:birthdate with ')' end function end class %i is float %lp is Arraylist of object python %nlp is namedArraylist of object python %nlp = new %nlp('Gilliam') = newpy('Gilliam', 'Terry', '19401122') %nlp('Cleese') = newpy('Cleese', 'John', '19391027') %nlp('Idle') = newpy('Idle', 'Eric', '19430329') %nlp('Palin') = newpy('Palin', 'Michael', '19430505') %nlp('Chapman') = newpy('Chapman', 'Graham', '19410108') %nlp('Jones') = newpy('Jones', 'Terry', '19420201') for %i from 1 to %nlp:count print %nlp:itembynumber(%i):myprint end for print '======================================' print 'After the sort by birthdate:' %lp = %nlp:sortnew(ascending(birthdate)) for %i from 1 to %lp:count print %lp(%i):myprint end for end

    The result is:

    Graham Chapman (born: 19410108) John Cleese (born: 19391027) Terry Gilliam (born: 19401122) Eric Idle (born: 19430329) Terry Jones (born: 19420201) Michael Palin (born: 19430505) ====================================== After the sort by birthdate: John Cleese (born: 19391027) Terry Gilliam (born: 19401122) Graham Chapman (born: 19410108) Terry Jones (born: 19420201) Eric Idle (born: 19430329) Michael Palin (born: 19430505)

  2. This fragment is a simple SortNew example; the string items are sorted by their values:

    %nal is namedArraylist of string len 30 %nal = new %nal('Akron') = 'Rubber City' %nal('Atlanta') = 'The Athens of the South' %nal('Philadelphia') = 'City of Brotherly love' %al is arraylist of string len 30 %al = %nal:sortNew(ascending) %al:print

    The result is:

    1: City of Brotherly love 2: Rubber City 3: The Athens of the South

  3. For additional sorting examples, see "Finding collection maxima and minima, and sorting".

See also